Photo shows female programmers coding at a computerWomen will have the chance to retrain in the digital sector thanks to a new programme being delivered by Edge Hill University alongside a group of institutions and industry partners.

The Institute of Coding (IoC) has awarded over £517,000 to launch the new TechUp programme to retrain women in technology. It is part of a wider initiative which will see £4.8m invested to tackle the digital skills shortfall across a wide range of areas.

TechUP will be delivered by a partnership led by Durham University, working with Edge Hill, Nottingham and York universities and will run across the North of England and Midlands.

The programme is open to women with degrees in any subject, with a focus on those from under represented communities and with a mission to develop the next generation of digital talent.

The six month online programme covers modules including cyber security, data science, machine learning, project management and public speaking skills.

At the end of the course, participants will have the opportunity to have an interview with a company for a job, internship or apprenticeship.

The online learning is supplemented with four residential weekends at the partner universities.

Professor Ella Pereira, Principal Investigator for Edge Hill University said: “We have been actively engaged with promoting Women in STEM agenda through the Athena SWAN and other national and international initiatives. We are absolutely delighted to be part of a successful bid supported by IoC that will help us strengthen our commitment to increasing female representation in the IT industry. This is an excellent news for the University and the region it serves too.”

Professor Nik Bessis, Head of the Computer Science department and a Co-investigator added: “This is an exciting time for us to get involved in a national initiative which aims to upskill women’s digital abilities in areas such as data science and Artificial Intelligence. This is particularly welcomed because one of the defining characteristics of Edge Hill is its long history of female empowerment, dating back to the institution’s origins.”

TechUP also includes corporate and industry partners who have helped to develop course content and will also provide mentoring to women on the course.

Edge Hill will be involved in developing and delivering online course and will also host one of the residential weekends.

The Institute of Coding (IoC) is a consortium of universities and employers, with a mission to develop the next generation of digital talent at degree level and above. The IoC will develop higher-level digital skills capabilities among those already in work as well as improve graduate employability.

Its goals include developing specialist skills training in areas of strategic importance, boosting equality and diversity in technology-related education and careers and producing research, analysis and intelligence to anticipate future skills gaps.

To register your interest for the course, email arc@durham.ac.uk or call 0191 334 2554.